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The Newsdesk 04.01.09 – Theron in Talks for Atlas Shrugged; Wolverine Print Leaks

• An early workprint of X-Men Origins: Wolverine has leaked online.

• Michael Caine hinted that the Riddler could be the villain in Batman 3. Well, it’s not like it’s going to be The Clock King. Caine isn’t really going out on a limb here.

• Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl) will direct a new version of Bright Lights, Big City. Yep, that mediocre Michael J. Fox movie based on the really dated book you never finished reading is coming back.

• Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland will join the great number of movies coming out in 3D. Wake me when movies are in four dimensions.

• Details from early screenings of Wes Anderson’s upcoming animated version of The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Between this and Where The Wild Things Are, ’09 is looking like the year indie auteurs made it safe to enjoy adaptations of classic children’s literature.

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 will be released as a 3D double feature in October.

Atlas Shrugged is finally moving forward with Charlize Theron being considered for the lead.

• Fox accidentally released a batch of Slumdog Millionaire DVDs without some of the special features. America demands an extended Bollywood dance sequence.


BIZ
SAG, AFTRA reach commercials contract

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai
SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio
Artists said early Wednesday they have reached a tentative new three-year
commercials contract.

Tough first quarter for big media
from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai
Big media and entertainment stocks continued to have a tough
time during the opening quarter of 2009.

As TV networks tighten belts, look for fewer stars, fewer risks
from USATODAY.com Life – Top Stories
In the new math in Hollywood, declining ratings, sharply
lower ad revenue and escalating production costs have forced cutbacks.

13 cable nets see big Q1 ratings boosts
from Hollywood Reporter by By Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek
Thirteen of ad-supported cable’s top 40 networks notched
double-digit ratings gains in the first quarter of 2009, a period that was also
marked by a few violent shifts in the other direction.

FESTIVALS
“Mission,” “Summer” and Films from 55 Countries Slated for 52nd
SF Fest

from indieWIRE News
With a roster of 151 films from 55 countries, the San
Francisco International Film Festival will host its 52nd edition April 23 – May
7 with four world, eight North American, four U.S. and 47 West Coast premieres
on tap. As previously announced, SFIFF will open with Peter Bratt’s second
feature, “La Mission” in the city’s historic Castro Theatre.

Tribeca to fete scribe William Goldman
from Hollywood Reporter by Staff report
The Tribeca Film Festival will honor screenwriter William
Goldman at an outdoor screening of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid” on April 24 at New York’s World Financial Center Plaza as part of its
Tribeca Drive-in program.

Chicago comedy fest sets lineup
from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai
Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, David Alan Grier, George
Lopez, Bill Engvall, Lisa Lampanelli, Russell Peters, Louis CK, Jim Jefferies,
Bob Odenkirk and Andy Dick will be among the comedy talent at this summer’s
inaugural “TBS Presents A ‘Very Funny’ Festival: Just For Laughs” in
Chicago.

Lollapalooza tickets hit the box office
from Top Stories from LiveDaily.com
(LiveDaily.com) Though a lineup for the event has not yet
been announced, tickets for this summer’s Lollapalooza [ tickets
] festival are now on sale.

AWARDS
Brad Paisley: An Early Academy of Country Music Award Winner

from Entertainment Awards: News & Videos about Entertainment
Awards – CNN.com

He scoops up video and duet awards ahead of Sunday’s show

Don Rickles to receive Legend Award
from Variety.com – Award Central News
Award Central News: TV Land Awards honors insult comic —
Don Rickles has been tapped to receive the Legend Award at the TV Land Awards.

MOVIES
Daily Box Office: Monday, March 30, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results
Monsters Vs. Aliens tops Monday’s box office with $3.5
million

‘Wolverine’: Alleged bootleg hits Web
from EW.com: Movies
By Mike Bruno
Purported high-quality, full-length version of Hugh Jackman summer tentpole
offered for download on several bittorrent sites this morning

Fox Screws Up ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ DVD
from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke
There was a bad batch of Slumdog Millionaire DVDs
released without the special features advertised on the box. Missing are
“The Making Of” featurette and the “Deleted Scenes” among
other promised content. Needless to say, a lot of buyers are
complaining to Amazon about it.

Disney does 3-D with `Toy Story,’ `Beast’ reissues
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DAVID GERMAIN
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Walt Disney is going 3-D on a lot of
future films – and some from its past.

‘Footloose’: Remake in doubt?
from EW.com: Movies
By Chris Nashawaty
Source close to project tells EW Paramount is unsure without Zac Efron, shoots
down Chace Crawford rumor

Jill
Hennessy Talks ‘Lymelife’

from Access Hollywood – Movies
Jill Hennessy chats with Access about her 6-year-old son’s
crush on Emma Roberts, working with Kieran and Rory Culkin and her music.

Downey gives Sherlock Holmes an action update
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DAVID GERMAIN
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Leave it to Robert Downey Jr. to turn
Sherlock Holmes into a wisecracking action hero who ends up handcuffed naked to
a bed.

Emma
Roberts Talks ‘Lymelife’

from Access Hollywood – Movies
“Lymelife” star Emma Roberts talks with Access about acting
in mature roles, filming the love scene and working with Alec Baldwin and
Cynthia Nixon.

Liam Neeson Finishes Latest Film
from E! Online – Movie News
Liam Neeson knew the show had to go on, so he got it over
with.

Miley
Cyrus Talks ‘Hannah Montana The Movie’

from Access Hollywood – Movies
Miley Cyrus chats with Tony Potts about her emotioanl Kids’
Choice Awards acceptance speech, moving on from “Hannah Montana” and why she
doesn’t want to work with boyfriend Justin Gaston.

Josh Schwartz to write, direct ‘Big City’
from EW.com: Movies
By Mike Bruno
Variety: Producer of ”Chuck,” ”Gossip Girl,” and ”The O.C.” set to make
feature film debut with new adaptation of 1984 Jay McInerney novel

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland Gets IMAX 3D Release
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Disney also announced today that Tim Burton‘s Alice
in Wonderland
will also be released in IMAX 3D on March 5, 2010.

Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell Poster
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
You’ve seen the trailer , and you’ve heard the early test screening
buzz
, now Shock Till You Drop has a look
at the poster for Sam Raimi‘s return to horror, Drag Me To Hell.

Ben Affleck Swears Off Comic Book Movies, Reflects On
‘Daredevil’

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll
FROM SPLASH PAGE: Once upon a time, Ben Affleck
was thrilled to play Daredevil,
one of Marvel’s most complex superheroes. These days, the newly-rebirthed star
of the political drama “State of Play” isn’t so eager to discuss his days spent
in red latex.

‘Iron Man 2’ Begins Filming Monday, Jon Favreau Offers ‘Geek
Tour’ Of Office

from Splash Page by Rick Marshall
Iron Man 2
director Jon
Favreau
continues to be one of the most active and interesting Twitter users from
the world of comic book filmmakers, with buzz-worthy updates and images popping
up on a daily basis in his stream of posts. Today, Favreau reported
that filming for the much-anticipated “Iron Man” sequel will begin on Monday,
and the “last of cast has arrived in LA.”

TELEVISION
USA tops basic cable ratings

from Variety.com – TV Ratings
TV Ratings: CNN down 23% in prime demo — USA Network
continued its ratings hot streak in the first quarter, finishing the frame as
the No. 1 basic cabler in primetime and enjoying double-digit percentage gains
across all key demos, while MSNBC notably ended the quarter ahead of rival CNN
in a key cable-news demo.

Ratings: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ wins again on Monday
from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Tim Stack
No surprise, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars was far and away
the Monday night winner with 20.2 million viewers, according to preliminary
overnight ratings. The network’s mid-season series, Castle, meanwhile, held
steady with 9.8 million fans, same as last week.

Fox leading March sweep
from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd
The March sweep is coming to a close this week with Fox in
the lead, followed by CBS, ABC, NBC and the CW.

Creative Chaos Keeps ‘South Park’ Timely, Tack-Sharp
from Wired: Entertainment by John Scott Lewinski
Series co-creator Matt Stone says last-minute ideas keep the
show vital.

Monty Python members reunite for doc
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 31 (UPI) — IFC has announced plans to
air a six-part documentary series reuniting the surviving members of the Monty
Python comedy troupe.

“Real Housewives” Countess Dumped By Her Count
from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post
News Team
Luann de Lesseps, the countess from “The Real Housewives of New
York,” is single. The 40-something American former model has been dumped
via email by her 60-something husband Alex, with whom she has two kids.

“Real Housewives” Alleged Beater In Court: “I’m
Really Upset”

from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post
News Team
(Los Angeles – March 31, 2009) – The Real Housewives of New
York City star, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, faced a judge this morning resulting
from her arrest earlier this month for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Nick
Stefanov.

New “Real Housewives” Messes
from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post
News Team
Yesterday we broke the news that Countess Luann de Lesseps
was splitting from her count. Now come whispers that Ramona Singer, the
highly-caffeinated maker of religious jewelry, is persona non grata at her
daughter, Avery’s, school.

FX gets TV rights for DreamWorks animated films
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The FX channel is going to be the TV
destination for “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Kung Fu Panda” and
other DreamWorks animated movies.

End of ‘ER’ marks end of era
from CNN.com – Entertainment
When the series “ER” airs its finale on Thursday,
the event will not only mark the completion of one of NBC’s most successful
shows, but it can also be viewed as the end of an era for the network.

Madison, Wozniak booted from ‘DWTS’
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 31 (UPI) — Holly Madison, Steve Wozniak
and their professional partners were eliminated from the U.S. dance competition
series “Dancing with the Stars” Tuesday night.

MUSIC
Google China gives music away free

from Variety.com – Music News
Music News: Download service aims to tackle piracy — Google
has launched a free Internet music download service in China, which aims to
tackle the country’s piracy problem by giving users free downloads of licensed
songs.

Madonna confirms her adoption push in Malawi
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By NEKESA MUMBI
MOODY and RAPHAEL TENTHANI
MCHINJI, Malawi (AP) — Madonna said Tuesday that she was
following standard procedures in her adoption of a Malawian girl, her first
response to accusations that she is using her fame to speed the process.

Jason Newsted reuniting with Metallica
from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Gary Graff, Billboard
Jason Newsted will be performing with Metallica at the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday.

New Kids’ new tour
from CNN.com – Entertainment
Twenty years ago, when the New Kids on The Block were
wearing their hair almost as high as their fame, the music business was a
vastly different animal. There was no “American Idol.” No such thing
as a download, legal or otherwise. People collected posters, not ringtones.

Singer Cole needs kidney, gets offers on show
from CNN.com – Entertainment
Singer Natalie Cole says she is searching for a kidney after
an illness caused both of her kidneys to fail.

Carlos Santana to rock Vegas ‘Joint’
from CNN.com – Entertainment
Guitarist Carlos Santana signed on as the first rock ‘n’
roll resident artist at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s new concert
hall, The Joint.

Rowland ends solo work for Columbia
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
NEW YORK, March 31 (UPI) — R&B/pop superstar Kelly
Rowland will no longer be recording with Columbia Records as a solo artist, the
U.S. record label announced Tuesday.

Rancid finishes first album in six years
from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By David J. Prince,
Billboard
Nineties punk mainstay Rancid has completed work on
“Let the Dominoes Fall,” the band’s seventh album and first in six
year.

Marissa Moss: An Interview with the Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers
from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by Marissa Moss
The first time I heard an Indigo Girls
song, or remember hearing one anyway, I was about 11 years old.

Steve Martin to make Grand Ole Opry debut
from USATODAY.com Music – Top Stories
Steve Martin is coming to the Grand Ole Opry, and he’s
bringing his banjo.

ETC…
‘Simpsons’ to be featured on U.S. stamps

from Entertainment News – UPI.com
WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) — The U.S. Postal Service and
Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising have announced the Simpsons
will soon be featured on 44-cent stamps.

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